How big should I go? What type of implant is right for my body? These are just two important questions you will ask when planning your breast augmentation. Let's walk you through the things to consider when choosing your breast implant size.
Take breast measurements
Your body is the most important factor when you consider implant size. Every woman has a different body type, so just because your friend looks amazing with 350cc high-profile implants does not mean that size will look the same on you.
Plastic surgeons use a set of breast measurements to help you find implants that are right for your body. Implants that are too big can be a factor in complications, too small may not give you the look you desire. The most important measurement taken will be your BWD—breast width diameter. This measurement is taken with a set of calipers. It measures the width of your breasts and is used to determine the diameter of your breast implants. Other measurements can be taken too, including the distance from the notch of your collar bone to nipple.
Research implant shapes and profiles
The implant shape and the implant profile you choose will be defining factors in your breast size and overall look. Some women may prefer a more natural look or a more artificial or "fake" look to their breast augmentation. The measurements taken by your surgeon will help guide your choice with both of these factors.
Your plastic surgeon will recommend an implant shape and profile to achieve your desired appearance. You may have heard that anatomical shaped implants will look more natural and that high profile will look fake. This is not necessarily true for all women. Your unique anatomy, combined with the implant shape and profile, will be what determines the final look. Implant manufacturers offer many styles so you can find an implant that will fit your anatomy and give you the look you desire.
Find photos that match your size goal
After you have measurements taken and you have discussed your ideal look with your plastic surgeon, it's time to move on to your size goal. Communicating your desired size can be difficult. What you consider to be a “C cup” may be a “B cup” to your surgeon. Augmented breasts can be wider and are often shaped differently than non-augmented breasts, which means that you may wear a larger size bra size than what you expect.
So how do you accurately communicate your desired size to your surgeon? A great way is to show your surgeon photos of breasts that you like. Photos of your ideal breasts will convey your desired shape, look, proportion and size so your plastic surgeon can guide you on your choice of implant.
Try on sizers
During your consultation or pre-op you may try on sizer implants that fit between your breasts and bra. It is helpful to bring your favorite clothing to try on with the sizers to help you decide how you feel about the look each size gives you. It's common to have multiple appointments to try on sizers before deciding on a final implant size.
Before your consultation you can get a general idea of the size you'd like by creating what are known as rice sizers. You can check out this article on how to make rice sizers at home. There are also companies that sell sizers if you're not the DIY type.
Explore sizes with 3D imaging software
Imaging software at your plastic surgeon's office can help you visualize your new look in real time. These software options allow you to see how your breasts will look with different implant sizes, profiles and shapes.
There are several options for imaging software like the Axis 3D Imaging and Vectra 3D XT. New software and imaging technology becomes available regularly, so check with your surgeon’s office to see what imaging software they have available for your consultation.
Updated February 2018